Parent Teacher Conferences 101
March is more than the beginning of Spring, March is Reading Month and daylight savings time. March for most schools means Parent Teacher Conferences. Now I know what you are thinking, "I just had a conference in November, I don't need another conference." For some that may be true, but a lot can change from November to March with your students goals for the current school year. If your kids are like mine, finding out reading levels and how school is going can them a little tongue tied! I am going to give you some ideas of things to discuss with your child's teacher(s) that will have you wanting a conference!
- What was my child's starting reading level for the year? What is it now? Is there anything we need to be working on to help his/her reading to continue to improve? Can you recommend a list of books that are level appropriate for my child(ren)? Will you be sending something home at the end of the year regarding current reading level to help plan with summer reading? Any websites you can recommend to help with reading or comprehension? Writing is such a chore for my student, are their any ideas on how to make it less painful?
- My child(ren) is(are) having issues with the math, is there a good website that you can recommend that will help? Do you offer any after school assistance for struggling students? My child(ren) can get the answer, but not using the method you are teaching, is that ok? A lot of this "new math" are things I have never seen before, do you have any advice for me the parent on how to help my child(ren)?
- How is my student doing socially? Is he/she participating in class?
- Are there any other areas that my child(ren) needs help in?
- The night before a test my child(ren) is really anxious, they are afraid they are going to forget everything, are there any suggestions you can give me to help my child(ren)? Nothing I try works.
- My child(ren) has an IEP, what specialized services are they receiving in your classroom?
Here are some great websites with more questions:
Don't be afraid to ask questions and take notes! Trust me when I say that you will not remember everything the teacher says. Especially when the talk of weaknesses comes up. Some of the items you hear you may want to think "Not MY child! What is she talking about? He/She doesn't do that at home!" Write it down anyway! Take it home and look at it fresh the day after the conference, you may have a different opinion of what you heard, and it may help you really focus on what your child(dren)'s weaknesses are and help him/her turn those weaknesses into positives. Either way, go into the conference with an open mind listening to everything. Do go into the conference with the thought of I'll show that teacher, he/she has been picking on my child(ren), they are perfect in every way! We all want our children to believe that our child(ren) is/are perfect, but the sooner we learn that no one is perfect, the better we will be equipped to help our child(ren) have the best education possible. Isn't that what we all want for our children? To have the best possible education so they can grow up to be happy and successful in whatever they do? Well, one way to help with that is to go to a parent teacher conference and advocate for your child(ren)'s education.